Press Review Thursday 5 August 2010

5th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

The government negotiations continue as a new mediator is appointed to broker a deal. The Dutch Press Council condemns miracle boy interview. Laura sets sail, while Morgan the Killer Whale longs to return to the sea. And a Dutch celebrity couple is burgled on holiday.

Can Ivo broker a deal? Trouw prints a photo of Ivo Opstelten leaving Queen Beatrix’s work palace Noordeinde in The Hague. The former mayor of Rotterdam is the new mediator in the next stage of negotiations to form a cabinet.

But apparently the conservative VVD, the Christian Democrats and the Freedom Party are so keen to get on, that they went ahead with talks without him after yesterday’s debate in the Lower House on the latest development.

There the fraction leaders of the three parties refused to take part in the debate. The Christian Democrats in particular came under fire for giving up their principles in exchange for the support of the far right Freedom Party.

De Volkskrant gives an overview of the complicated process of forming a government which began almost two months ago. The paper portrays former formation mediator Ruud Lubbers “in a powerless supporting role”. The left made a miscalculation when they told him to investigate the possibility of a right-wing cabinet and the right-wing parties held talks without him to form a minority cabinet supported by the Freedom Party. What else could he do? Democrat D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said he should have given the brief back to the queen, but Trouw writes he did not want to “leave the pieces on the palace steps”.

De Telegraaf prints the outcome of a readers’ poll on who is the cleverest politician. Geert Wilders comes out on top with 45 percent of the vote for his shrewd manoeuvring.

Miracle boy interview went too far An interview with the sole survivor of last May’s plane crash in Tripoli has been slammed by the Dutch Press Council. Trouw reports that a telephone interview published by De Telegraaf, while the nine-year-old boy was recovering from surgery and barely aware about what had happened, should not have been made. Nor should his surname have been given in other media as this did not add to the news value of the story. Seventy of the passengers who died in the crash, which killed 103 people, were Dutch nationals. The tragedy sparked huge media coverage in the Netherlands.

The Press Council which usually reacts to complaints on press conduct investigated the matter on its own initiative after public outrage that the boy’s privacy had been violated. De Telegraaf has refused to react to the criticism and there is no reference to the ruling in today’s edition of the mass circulation paper.

Pictures of the boy in a hospital bed which went across the world were justified because they had an “exceptionally large news value and power of expression”. According to the council, “they symbolised the tragedy and the hope of survival”. But photo’s taken from social networks on the internet of dead victims of the disaster should not have been printed. The media should have respected the privacy of the victims.

Bon voyage Laura! Many of the papers have printed photos of Laura Dekker as she set sail yesterday for Portugal before attempting to become the youngest ever solo sailor to circumnavigate the world. The 14-year-old is pictured waving goodbye to journalists from all over the world, but I don’t expect that will be the last she sees of them.

The first leg of her journey she will be accompanied by her father, but Laura’s mother was no-where to be seen writes AD, in spite of telling the press that she was no longer against her daughter’s voyage.

Her grandparents were present. Her grandmother, who is apparently writing a book on her adventurous granddaughter, gave her a teddy and told journalists how proud she was to see Laura behind the helm.

Apparently undaunted by the media presence, the sailor girl answered numerous questions about the voyage. Is she scared of pirates? No, she’ll be travelling in convoy through the Gulf of Aden. In fact, she raises the pirate flag in support of environmental organisation Sea Shepherd before she sets off.

Her family follow her in one of the flotilla of ships that see her out of the harbour. On the letters page of De Telegraaf, one reader wishes Laura luck… and hopes he’ll never hear from her again in the next two years.

Killer whale also hopes to return to the oceans Another juvenile that wants to return to the ocean has caught the attention of de Volkskrant. A young killer whale called Morgan who was rescued from the Wadden Sea north of the Netherlands earlier this year and nurtured back to health at the Dofinarium theme park in the town of Harderwijk, had to be weighed and underwent blood tests yesterday. A perfect photo opportunity as a group of helpers in pink and blue Dolfinarium T-shirts and wetsuits help measure the creature.

Keeping Morgan at the Dolfinarium is not an option. It could be transferred to a US theme park. Experts hope they can find the young killer whale’s family before returning him to sea, otherwise his chances of survival are slim. But it is up to the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Fisheries to decide what will happen to the killer whale. Surviving alone is difficult, but so too is joining another group of whales.

Morgan’s family will have the same black and white pattern, the same call and the same shape of tailfin. But so far Morgan has not been given up as missing or recognised by scientists who follow whale groups. Hopefully the born free killer whale will be returned to the ocean and is not destined to entertain visitors with tricks.

Dutch celebs burgled on Ibiza Dutch footballer Wesley Schneider and his celebrity bride Yolanthe Cabau van Kasbergen have been burgled on Ibiza. According to AD, the thieves took valuables and cash worth almost 70,000 euros. Some of the valuables were in a safe, which has also gone missing.

The couple were with footballer Patrick Kluivert and his partner. They believe they were followed by a professional gang for a number of days, which the paper says was not difficult as they drove conspicuous Hummers on the Spanish island. The shocked foursome have returned to the Netherlands after reporting the burglary to the police.


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